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UK unemployment falls to 40-year low, but wage growth still lags inflation

Wednesday, 24 January, 2018 - 17:19

Unemployment in the United Kingdom decreased by 3,000 people between September and November 2017, which put the unemployment rate at 4.3%, according to data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Unemployment fell to 1.44 million people in the quarter, 160,000 less than those registered in that period of 2016.

The number of people in employment during the quarter reached a “record” figure of 32.2 million, 415,000 more than during the same period the previous year, said the ONS.

The British Minister of Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, highlighted the ” record employment” figures achieved in 2017 and showed her satisfaction, noting that “this trend continues as we enter the new year”.

“The number of people in work is at a an all-time high and the unemployment rate has not been this low for more than 40 years,” she said.

The ONS also revealed that the number of people between the ages of 16 and 64 classified as economically inactive Рwho are neither working nor looking for work Рwas 8.3 million, 79,000 less than in the previous quarter, and 167,000 less than in 2016.

This put the inactivity rate 21.2 percent lower than in the previous year.

However, the average weekly wage of workers in nominal terms Рnot adjusted for inflation Рgrew by 2.5 percent, including bonuses, and by 2.4%, if these premiums are excluded, compared to 2016. This is lower than the 3.1 percent rate of inflation meaning actual wages decreased by 0.2 percent.

The ONS also reported that there was an increase in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits in December. This number rose by 8,600 people to 832,500, representing 2.4 percent of the country’s workforce.

This figure represented an increase of 6.3% compared to the people who requested this assistance in December 2016.



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